WASHINGTON D.C. (NBC) -- Majority Leader Reid tonight is rejecting Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte's request for a Congressional Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi Attack. Reid has written a letter to those Senators arguing that the committees of jurisdiction have already begun to investigate what happened in Libya and a Select Committee would be duplicative.
To form a Select Committee the Senate would have to pass the resolution McCain introduced yesterday. A Reid spokesman tonight said if the resolution did come up for a vote, it would fail.
LETTER FROM SENATE MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REID TO SENATORS MCCAIN, GRAHAM, AYOTTE AND MCCONNELL
"I refuse to allow the Senate to be used as a venue for baseless partisan attacks… I am concerned that a Select Committee, as you propose, would duplicate and, ultimately, undermine the numerous investigations into the attack that are already proceeding in the Senate Committees of jurisdiction, and may serve to further politicize an issue that has already been manipulated by Members of both the House and Senate in service of partisan agendas."
"You already have the opportunity to engage more fully in the fulsome and ongoing investigations into the events in Benghazi currently being conducted by the Senate committees of jurisdiction. For instance, on Wednesday, Senator McCain failed to attend a classified briefing held by the Senate Homeland Security Committee on this very issue.
"As former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has said, 'It's easy to try and jump to conclusions about what might have happened here. It's probably better to let the relevant bodies do their work.'
"Unfortunately, the approach taken by many Republican Members has been the opposite - instead of 'letting the relevant bodies do their work,' many Republicans have undermined and complicated their efforts. In the weeks following this terrorist attack, Members of the Republican Party in both the House and Senate have misrepresented the facts as presented in numerous briefings by the United States Intelligence Community through a constant stream of falsehoods, exaggerations, and leaks of sensitive national security information.
"The elections are over; it is time to put an end to the partisan politicization of national security, and begin working together to strengthen our efforts to dismantle and destroy the terrorist networks that threaten us…
"The most important task facing us at this juncture is to make sure that we collect the facts in a clear-eyed, nonpartisan fashion, and take whatever action they merit. Your considerable experience in these matters would be an enormous asset to this effort, if more judiciously deployed. I know that, as members of multiple committees of jurisdiction, you understand as well as I do the importance the Senate's longstanding tradition of nonpartisanship in national security oversight. I therefore urge you to join me in working in a bipartisan manner, in line with the proudest traditions of the Senate, to support the men and women of our national security and intelligence community, conduct the Senate's oversight activities in a fair and responsible manner, and help restore the longstanding commitment to nonpartisanship in the Senate's national security committees."